Caribbean-style Ale recipe

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What base style to highlight Caribbean flavor(s)?

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chasep7

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I'm looking for some ideas for a Caribbean influenced ale. Not necessarily a summer brew, probably a milder IPA. Something a little bigger though. You know, something a pirate might drink.

I'm thinking a deep amber colored beer with a citrusy hop presence, balanced with a strong malt profile, featuring some flavor(s) of the Caribbean. Maybe a hint of oak. I know allspice, ginger and coconut come to mind as some possible additions - how they'd fit in a beer like this I'm not sure.

I'd love some ideas to help put a recipe together. Thoughts? :mug:
 

danweasel

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Papaya? I think it would go good with the citrus hops. I had some papaya guacomole at a pirate BBQ once, so the authenticity is unquestionable. I have never put fruit in a beer before though so I can't really help, I just wanted to subscribe.
 

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Raw Cane Sugar might kick it up a notch alcohol wise(Rum Ingredient), but I doubt it will add to flavor. This looks like a great idea. Update how it turns out.

*Be careful with over spicing, I don't know if you have tried it before but it's very easy to put too much in. Check out the samhain pumpkin ale recipie for quantities that don't seem over-powering. I hear Ginger is especially touchy.
 

BrewSpook

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A coconut ginger papaya IIPA boosted with turbinado or some other heavy sugar....Hmmm that actually sounds really good. Like a pliny clone with those extras added.
 

danweasel

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A coconut ginger papaya IIPA boosted with turbinado or some other heavy sugar....Hmmm that actually sounds really good. Like a pliny clone with those extras added.
Now we are getting somewhere. I am moving in about a month so I can't start a brew. But I am definitely on board with this idea. This is going to be my first fruit beer.

I put 18oz of "fancy" cane sugar in my last beer as an alcohol booster. I liked the results, it didn't dry it out much at all.
 

broadbill

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I dunno....I would think you would want a significant malt backbone to counteract some of those spices. I just don't think the typical IPA grain bill is up to the task for that sort of thing. It is intentionally brewed to be dry to make the hops more prominant.

Also, an IPA would have a significant hop character and then you go and add a bunch of spices...might get a bit overwhelming flavor-wise. I think it would have too much going on.

Not saying it couldn't be done...just that it might not be all that you hoped for a on a first-go round.
 

hiberntepaths

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There's a recipe by Randy Mosher in his book "Radical Brewing" called "Black Ship Pirate Stout." Granted, it's a stout, but I'll share the spicings he put in it. They work well together, see what you think, to give you some ideas at least:

1.5 pounds dark (blackstrap) molasses - 10% of grist
1 ounces crushed coriander seed, added at end of boil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, added at end of boil
1 teaspoon allspice, added at end of boil

Zest of one orange or tangerine, soaked in vodka to cover, then added at bottling.
 
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chasep7

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I dunno....I would think you would want a significant malt backbone to counteract some of those spices. I just don't think the typical IPA grain bill is up to the task for that sort of thing. It is intentionally brewed to be dry to make the hops more prominant.

Also, an IPA would have a significant hop character and then you go and add a bunch of spices...might get a bit overwhelming flavor-wise. I think it would have too much going on.

Not saying it couldn't be done...just that it might not be all that you hoped for a on a first-go round.
I think you're right. An IPA might not be the appropriate style for this brew. Selecting hops that can work well with the spices, instead of competing with them, seems to be the struggle. Any varieties that come to mind?
 

markg388

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I think the stout is a good idea, when I went to Jamaica Guinness was the 2nd most popular beer behind Red Stripe. I can definitely picture pirates drinking a nice dark & murky beer, and it would take well to the extra flavorings.
 
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chasep7

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There's a recipe by Randy Mosher in his book "Radical Brewing" called "Black Ship Pirate Stout." Granted, it's a stout, but I'll share the spicings he put in it. They work well together, see what you think, to give you some ideas at least:

1.5 pounds dark (blackstrap) molasses - 10% of grist
1 ounces crushed coriander seed, added at end of boil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, added at end of boil
1 teaspoon allspice, added at end of boil

Zest of one orange or tangerine, soaked in vodka to cover, then added at bottling.
Thanks, that has me thinking. Was the molasses a big flavor component? For this recipe I like the idea of adding some molasses or sugar to it and finishing the boil with some Caribbean-y spices. Maybe substitute the orange zest with papaya, as suggested earlier?
 

indigi

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That much molasses actually sounds like it'd be an overwhelming flavor component. 10% of the grain bill is a lot.
 

SchlazzGraft

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I've heard of people adding rum to the fermenter as well, this might be a nice addition for the flavors you're looking for
 

El_Exorcisto

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Orange and lime zest would be quite deserving of an eye patch. Papaya doesn't seem to have a lot of big flavor, and the texture is awful slimy. I'm not a fan of it in general.
 

imasickboy

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Pineapple would be my first choice for a tropical fruit, but I'm not sure how well the flavor would show up.
 

jturb

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Citrus and Mangos would probably go together pretty nicely, scotch bonnet peppers:D

I would say to stay with the Caribbean theme stick with a somewhat light beer, I really don't like to drink heavy beers in very hot and humid temps.
 

Edcculus

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How about cocobnut. Seems like every island has locals trying to waylay tourists to buy a coconut for way too much money!

Also, are you looking to do something kind of historic, or just for fun? The Foreign Extra Stout style can be split into 2 more sub categories: Export (Guiness Extra Stout), and Tropical Stout (Lion Stout). The Tropical Stout tend to be a little sweeter and fruitier. A Tropical Stout may be a good start for a Pirate brew.
 

imasickboy

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Perfect. I'll definitely make one with pineapple rum now. Thanks for the tip.
 
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chasep7

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How about cocobnut. Seems like every island has locals trying to waylay tourists to buy a coconut for way too much money!

Also, are you looking to do something kind of historic, or just for fun? The Foreign Extra Stout style can be split into 2 more sub categories: Export (Guiness Extra Stout), and Tropical Stout (Lion Stout). The Tropical Stout tend to be a little sweeter and fruitier. A Tropical Stout may be a good start for a Pirate brew.
Thanks for the suggestion. Just looking for a fun theme - something a little different, but not too off the wall. Right now I'm thinking along the lines of a brown ale that can carry a nice balance between some citrusy hops and island spices with some fruity undertones. Don't want to overdue it on the spices or fruits, just enough to carry the theme.

I am intrigued by the idea of including some coconut. I'd love some tips on how that ingredient's done in past brews.

Not sure what hop varieties or yeast to consider here. Ideas on that? Anyone care to take a stab at an all-grain recipe?
 

El_Exorcisto

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If you are going after being an American pirate, I'd go with Clusters. They're the oldest American hop. If trying to go after an English theme, EKGs and Fuggles are where it's at. Trying to be off the wall and go French? Strisselspalt all the way. As for yeast, any of the classic English strains would be pretty well on target.
 

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My Tasmainian pale ale is a tropical beer. However its from down under. Its very easy drinking. Its very balanced. See my pull down.

If you don't like this try to find a clone for "Banks". I believe its Jamaican. It might be more to what you are after, but its not an IPA. Its a copper ale with a nice biscuit malt taste and some hop flavor. I don't recall the IBU, its not out of the twenties. Its very drinkable in warm weather.

I think Austen Home Brew has this beer in their commercial recipe section.

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_452_43_246&products_id=11728
 

broadbill

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Thanks for the suggestion. Just looking for a fun theme - something a little different, but not too off the wall. Right now I'm thinking along the lines of a brown ale that can carry a nice balance between some citrusy hops and island spices with some fruity undertones. Don't want to overdue it on the spices or fruits, just enough to carry the theme.

I am intrigued by the idea of including some coconut. I'd love some tips on how that ingredient's done in past brews.

Not sure what hop varieties or yeast to consider here. Ideas on that? Anyone care to take a stab at an all-grain recipe?
Seems like you are still all over the place on this one....we've gone from IPA to stout to brown ale, from spices to adding coconut and papaya and rum...

Now you want us to throw out a AG recipe...for what exactly?:drunk:
 

Revvy

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Please don't take offense, but it doesn't sound like you even have a clue about what kind of beer you're trying to make. You're going to end up with a muddy beer of indeterminant style.

Have you even investigated the styles of beer actually drunk in Jamaica and those regions?

One of the most popular styles consumed is the Tropical Stout, such as Dragon, which is actually a stout brewed with lager yeast.

Dragon is the most popular, and NO it doesn't have a bunch of spices added. It's just a nice stout. But since it's a lager it is really crisp for the warm weather.

There's nothing wrong with what you're doing, I'm working on something similar, but you've gone from a simple idea of highlighting the spices of the region to every cliched tropical ingredient in a base beer of indeterminate pedigree.

The kitchen sink of tropical whatever.

You've left simplicity behind.

I think first you need to d a bit of research, and first figure out truly what styles are consumed there. Try to nail down a base beer. Look into what specific ingredients are used. What malts, hops, what special adjuncts, like local sugars might be used it there. Most regional brewing, especially in places where beer wasn't necessarily an original drink have ingredients and processes that have a distinctive reason or purpose involved in why they were used.

The IPA is a great illustration of this. If you look into the history that style there are specific reasons why the beer is the way it is. Same for example the gin and tonic, they both have a historical significance and history attached to them. Why the ingredients in there are what they are.

Start with finding out a base beer....and from that get creative. But still look at your original premise, the flavors you originally wanted to showcase. You originally talked about a ginger allspice and coconut flavor backbone, not a rum/mango/coconut/allspice/yadda yadda yadda beer.

Pick a couple of flavors and work with them. Every jamacan dish doesn't have mangos and coconuts in them, nor do they all contain for example, jerk spice. So you really need to figure out what spices/flavors you truly want to highlight. You don't necessarily want to try to hit all bases in one beer.

Otherwise you might end up striking out. ;)

I Just brewed a Sri Lankin Stout, trying to approximate the flavors of Lion's stout. In order to do that I started with another Tropical Style Stout, which is the Jamaican Stout, like dragon. I have some info about that style and some ingredients indigenous to Jamacain Stouts. THEN I looked for the Sri Lankin/Indian version of that same ingredients and ended up with the final recipe I brewed that is delicious. Maybe my thread will help you see the journey I am talking about.

Take a look at this thread for some info https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/anyone-have-real-lions-stout-clone-200557/

(I also talk a little bit about my "Jamacian Spiced beer" experiment in this thread. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/ginger-snap-brown-ale-212313/

But just remember, KISS.....
 

Schlenkerla

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Revvy - You made a long nice thoughtful reply there. Merry Christmas!

I think one idea left out from all on spice beers is to have a good base beer. Make one good beer, first. No spices. Then play with adding spices to that same recipe. The key to making a good spice beer is to not have it over the top. In order to have be really drinkable is to make the spice taste subtle. A brown ale with a touch of vanilla. It should be so subtle that its not real obvious in every sip.

Thats my opinion. If the spice is so noticeable would you drink two or three them in an evening? Assume you have other choices.
 

Revvy

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Revvy - You made a long nice thoughtful reply there. Merry Christmas!

I think one idea left out from all on spice beers is to have a good base beer. Make one good beer, first. No spices. Then play with adding spices to that same recipe. The key to making a good spice beer is to not have it over the top. In order to have be really drinkable is to make the spice taste subtle. A brown ale with a touch of vanilla. It should be so subtle that its not real obvious in every sip.

Thats my opinion. If the spice is so noticeable would you drink two or three them in an evening? Assume you have other choices.
Thanks Bro, and to you as well! :mug:

That's what I learned with that Chocolate Mole' Porter that I've been working with for years and sending into contests and doing progressively better over each batch. The first time I entered it, and got an honorable mention, the judges all agreed that my base porter stood out first and foremost as a great example of the style. And they said the spice was nice on top.

So in all the versions I have kept the base the same and just playing with the balance of heat and chocolate.

But the porter has remained virtually untouched from brew to brew.
 

Schlenkerla

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Revvy,

After rereading your post, I see you hit on getting a base beer.

To the OP, maybe create a poll for selecting a base beer and a separate one for the spice. Make the spice either a lone spice or a pair.
 
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chasep7

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Seems like you are still all over the place on this one....we've gone from IPA to stout to brown ale, from spices to adding coconut and papaya and rum...

Now you want us to throw out a AG recipe...for what exactly?:drunk:
I am all over the place indeed. I was thinking someone smarter than me has done a brew involving a few of the ingredients mentioned here and what styles make sense. Because I DON'T want anything that's a clusterf*ck - though it might seem that way...
 
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chasep7

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Please don't take offense, but it doesn't sound like you even have a clue about what kind of beer you're trying to make. You're going to end up with a muddy beer of indeterminant style.

Have you even investigated the styles of beer actually drunk in Jamaica and those regions?

One of the most popular styles consumed is the Tropical Stout, such as Dragon, which is actually a stout brewed with lager yeast.

Dragon is the most popular, and NO it doesn't have a bunch of spices added. It's just a nice stout. But since it's a lager it is really crisp for the warm weather.

There's nothing wrong with what you're doing, I'm working on something similar, but you've gone from a simple idea of highlighting the spices of the region to every cliched tropical ingredient in a base beer of indeterminate pedigree.

The kitchen sink of tropical whatever.

You've left simplicity behind.

I think first you need to d a bit of research, and first figure out truly what styles are consumed there. Try to nail down a base beer. Look into what specific ingredients are used. What malts, hops, what special adjuncts, like local sugars might be used it there. Most regional brewing, especially in places where beer wasn't necessarily an original drink have ingredients and processes that have a distinctive reason or purpose involved in why they were used.

The IPA is a great illustration of this. If you look into the history that style there are specific reasons why the beer is the way it is. Same for example the gin and tonic, they both have a historical significance and history attached to them. Why the ingredients in there are what they are.

Start with finding out a base beer....and from that get creative. But still look at your original premise, the flavors you originally wanted to showcase. You originally talked about a ginger allspice and coconut flavor backbone, not a rum/mango/coconut/allspice/yadda yadda yadda beer.

Pick a couple of flavors and work with them. Every jamacan dish doesn't have mangos and coconuts in them, nor do they all contain for example, jerk spice. So you really need to figure out what spices/flavors you truly want to highlight. You don't necessarily want to try to hit all bases in one beer.

Otherwise you might end up striking out. ;)

I Just brewed a Sri Lankin Stout, trying to approximate the flavors of Lion's stout. In order to do that I started with another Tropical Style Stout, which is the Jamaican Stout, like dragon. I have some info about that style and some ingredients indigenous to Jamacain Stouts. THEN I looked for the Sri Lankin/Indian version of that same ingredients and ended up with the final recipe I brewed that is delicious. Maybe my thread will help you see the journey I am talking about.

Take a look at this thread for some info https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/anyone-have-real-lions-stout-clone-200557/

(I also talk a little bit about my "Jamacian Spiced beer" experiment in this thread. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/ginger-snap-brown-ale-212313/

But just remember, KISS.....
Great advice, thanks. I really am wanting to do exactly what you're talking about. Make a great beer with some interesting, subtle flavors that remind one of the Caribbean. Must not have come across that way because I absolutely don't have a base style down. Doing things bass-ackwards I suppose, but have been trying to nail down 2-3 spices/fruits that would marry well with some citrusy hops.

Been playing around with a few things and I am liking a allspice, coriander, ginger mixture for it. I will do some research on what you suggested.
 
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chasep7

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Revvy,

After rereading your post, I see you hit on getting a base beer.

To the OP, maybe create a poll for selecting a base beer and a separate one for the spice. Make the spice either a lone spice or a pair.
Great idea. Done!
 

Schlenkerla

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Revvy,

After rereading your post, I see you hit on getting a base beer.

To the OP, maybe create a poll for selecting a base beer and a separate one for the spice. Make the spice either a lone spice or a pair.
Great idea. Done!
Make sure to put a link out for the other poll. Maybe in the first and last post when you create the spice poll.
 

St.Frank

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My Tasmainian pale ale is a tropical beer. However its from down under. Its very easy drinking. Its very balanced. See my pull down.

If you don't like this try to find a clone for "Banks". I believe its Jamaican. It might be more to what you are after, but its not an IPA. Its a copper ale with a nice biscuit malt taste and some hop flavor. I don't recall the IBU, its not out of the twenties. Its very drinkable in warm weather.

I think Austen Home Brew has this beer in their commercial recipe section.

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_452_43_246&products_id=11728
Sorry this is like 12 years old but can you help with this I’m looking for banks beer or something similar any help?
 
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